Social media goals are the first step in creating a social media strategy. They take time and effort but knowing what you want to accomplish is key to success.
WHY BOTHER SETTING GOALS
Goals make a path for your visions. When set-up properly they give inspiration, direction, and focus. Below are three key reasons setting goals is important.
1. Target to work toward
2. Way to measure success
3. Tighten focus
Not setting your social media goals is like having a ship with out a sail. You are stuck in port and not moving anywhere.
HOW TO SET GOALS
There are many goal setting methods. Kevin Lee from Buffer shared 7 popular Goal-Setting Tips and Strategies Any of these methods are fine for creating goals. You will choose by personal preference. What feels natural to you? Do the steps make sense to you?
Methods I use
One of the most popular for social media goals is the S.M.A.R.T. goal method. It is easy to understand and gives clear, specific goals.
Dominique Jackson from Social Sprout put this in social media terms in his article How to Create Social Media Goals .
- Specific: Your goals will be clear, simple and defined.
- Measurable: Attach a metric to your goal so you can measure your progress. For example, it could be reach, new website visitors, impressions or leads.
- Achievable: Will you actually be able to achieve this goal? Make sure you’re being reasonable with your expectations.
- Realistic: You should have the resources and want to achieve your goals. For instance, it’s possible to double your social media traffic within 60 days. But do you have the time, resources or drive it will take to meet that goal?
- Time sensitive: Your social media goals should have a time frame. The trick here is setting a timetable that’s reachable, but not so far out that there is no pressure to achieve it. Setting a time frame of 12 months to increase your social media reach by 10% is too easy. A good starting point for most social media goals is around 3-6 months.
The Mission/Vision/Objective/Key Results/To Do method is another of my favorites. I prefer a clear path to my goals.
Objectives are what you are trying to accomplish. Key Results are your goals. I use the S.M.A.R.T. method to make my key results/goals. I make sure my goals are clear and measurable.
It does not matter which method you choose. Try a few to see what works best for you. Do not forget the most important step – – writing your goals down!
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS
Pleaseeee don’t answer with any of these statements:
“They told me I need too”
“Everyone else is using it”
“I don’t want to get left behind”
Those statements are not a reason to use social media. You should use it to accomplish a specific goal. So what do you want to make happen with social media?
This answer to the question is an objective. You will make goals to achieve that objective. Every business uses social media for different reasons. Some examples are:
- sell more ______
- brand recognition
- provide better customer service
- drive website traffic
- build a community
- generate leads
You must understand your objective/goals because without them there is no strategy. Whatever actions you take should lead back to your goals.
What are you at on your social media journey? For those beginning their journey I suggest no more than one objective and three goals to achieve the objective. Once you choose your platforms you may want to go back and revise your goals.
If you already started your journey you may want one objective and 3 goals for each platform or several overall objectives with goals linked to the platforms. Once you reach a goal celebrate then make a new one.
A side note to keep in mind: Your reason for being on social media will drive your strategy but it is not your whole focus. In social media (inbound marketing) it not always about you. It is about what you can do for your client or customer.
I need to say a quick word about metrics. Whatever your goal is make sure you can measure it. Likes , mentions, web visits, comments, pins, reach, engagement, and impressions can all be measured. This is a short list there are many more. Decide what you want to track and find a way to measure it. There are tools and many of the platforms have metrics you can use.
GOAL SETTING EXAMPLES
There are several examples in the articles I linked to above. You should read through those to get different ideas . I am going to take you through one of my goals to see how it all comes together.
My objective is to generate leads.
One of my SMART goals looks like this:
S- Increase Web Traffic by 20% in 6 months
M- Google Analytics to track monthly web site visits
A- Accomplish through video learning sessions with extra info placed on website; Spread word across media channels
R-I have the time and tools to create video, design white paper, and post across channels.
T- Begins Oct 1, 2016, Ends April 30, 2016; progress check every month
To do list:
- Develop FB live session on Social Media Strategy
- Design white paper give aways associated with SMS
- Announce Video & white paper give aways across all channels
- Blog twice a month
I review my goals often to make sure my focus and tasks are supporting what I want to achieve. It also gives me time to review and make changes as needed. Goals are not set in stone. They should be revised if needed.
make your goals S.M.A.R.T
write them down
Do you a have a favorite goal setting method? How often do you review your goals?